Friday, April 15, 2016

The Mile

Alyssa raced in the mile run last night and then, a little while later, she ran the 800 meter run, which is really the half mile.

When the meet started, Alyssa declared she didn’t WANT to run the mile.

My mom muttered something about who Lyss shouldn’t have to do the mile if she didn’t really want to do.

I sort of agreed but then said that it was really just a part of growing up. I mean, here I am, getting up at the obscene hour of 5:45 each morning even though I DON’T WANT TO and going to work and doing stuff that I’d really rather not do but do anyway because, yeah, I’m a grown-up who has bills and responsibilities.

Of course, Alyssa did fine in both the half mile and the mile. She didn’t ever have to stop and walk during either of her races. She’s pushing through and proving to herself that even if she doesn’t really want to do something, she can still do it well.

When we got home, Tom was a little annoyed that she had to run the mile even though she didn’t want to. He feels like the kids should get to pick the events they want to participate in and just do those.

I told him the same thing I told my mom. I mean, really? Talk about chaos. We’d have twenty kids running the 100 meter dash and none running the mile. It’s not going to hurt her to have to do something she’s not fond of. Running a mile isn’t that big a deal (says the woman who couldn’t run a mile without passing out and perhaps dying!) when you’re thirteen and in general good health.

Heck, if we’re going to go with Tom’s thoughts on track meets and apply it to school in general, maybe Alyssa shouldn’t HAVE to go to science class since she doesn’t REALLY like it. Maybe we should just let her pick her classes. At thirteen, I can guarantee she’d choose band, choir, art and gym. The rest of the time would be study halls and lunch.

But that’s not how it works. She needs math and science and social studies and language arts classes. She needs to learn to think and those classes will help her do that.

Sure, track is a voluntary thing but still, learning to go along with what your coach feels is best for you is a part of life too. It’s a lesson in teamwork and trusting those who are in charge to know what they’re doing.

If struggled with those runs, I might be a little more on my mom’s and Tom’s sides but she doesn’t. Her coaches know what she can do and they just want her to try. They know she can do this and do it well if she just pushes herself a little harder.

I never really learned to push myself and look at me…I don’t want Alyssa to wake up in 32 years and realize that she’s stuck because she never pushed, she never even tried.

She’s got so much potential and if her coaches can tap that potential it will mean so much for her for years to come.

Obviously, this isn’t just about running.


Swistle said...

I am with you on this. And it depends too on HOW BADLY the child doesn't want to do something, and how far in advance they tell someone. If they tell me a week before, and they're crying, and they have reasons, I'm more inclined to see if something can be worked out; if they just don't feel like it, and it's half an hour before it happens, I'm more likely to suggest sucking it up.

Julie said...

This is a wonderful post. I'm with you on this. And how wonderful that she can run that far without stopping. I know I couldn't even do 1/4 mile.